Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Poster Session #537
OBM Monday Poster Session
Monday, May 25, 2020
1:00 PM–3:00 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Hall D
Chair: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
76. Literature Review: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Staff Training Procures in Applied Behaviors Analysis Organizations
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Continuing education and training opportunities allow employees to enhance careers, develop skills and knowledge, and deliver excellent service. Training can fail due to lack of planning and budget restraints (Albernathy, 1999). Sundberg in 2016 stated that staff training is more economic than staff turnover which could cost between 15%-200% annual salary of staff that leave an organization. Therefore it’s essential that training and development be crucial to both the employees and the organization (Devi & Shik, 2012). Trainings are often wasted because skills and knowledge gained in the training are not integrated to on the job and therefore have no impact (Berge, 2008). Medsker & Roberts (1992 pointed out that the purpose for training might include, but not limited to, promoting change, reducing risks, communication and disseminating knowledge and information, developing and enhancing skills as well as maintaining certifications and licensures. The focus of this study is to provide a literature review on evaluating the effectiveness of staff training for individuals working within an applied behavior analysis program.
77. Improving Procedural Fidelity of Natural Environment Training Using Peer Feedback
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
KARA NICOLE SHAWBITZ (Northern Michigan University), Jacob H. Daar (Northern Michigan University), Ashley Shayter (Northern Michigan University)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: For treatment to be effective, it must be implemented with high procedural fidelity. One method commonly used to increase procedural fidelity is performance feedback. Performance feedback is typically provided to paraprofessional staff by a supervisor following the performance of the target behavior. However, supervisors often have limited time to provide feedback. However, peers often work in close proximity to each other and may be able to provide more frequent feedback. Additionally, recent research has evaluated the temporal placement of feedback to determine when feedback should be provided. The present study evaluated the use of peers as a source of feedback to increase procedural fidelity scores in natural environment training. In the present study, feedback was provided either immediately following a session or immediately preceding a session. For all participants, procedural fidelity scores increased when peer feedback was provided and maintained when it was withdrawn. Procedural fidelity scores were higher for all participants when peer feedback was provided ten minutes prior to a natural environment training session, suggesting that pre-session feedback might be more effective.
78. Utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Reduce Burnout in Behavior Analysts Working in Public Schools
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Keely Stephens (Special School District of St. Louis ), DANI PIZZELLA (Special School District of St. Louis, University of Missouri St. Louis)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Burnout and stress are very prevalent health conditions impacting the lives of workers within the United States. These conditions are related to many other health conditions as well as absenteeism, both of which cost employers billions of dollars (Center for Disease Control, 2015). Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of therapy based on behavior analytic principles that has been shown to decrease the impacts of stress and reduce burnout through increasing one’s psychological flexibility (Flaxman, Bond, & Livheim, 2013). This study evaluates the extent to which an ACT training curriculum decreases burnout through increasing the psychological flexibility of a group of behavior analysts working in a public-school setting. The participants in this study are a group of behavior analysts working in a public school district. During baseline, the participants completed both the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) and the Maslach Burnout Inventory for Educators(MBI-ES). Results indicated a high level of burnout per the MBI-ES and a moderate level of psychological flexibility per the AAQ-II. Following baseline, participants are attending three training session on ACT focusing on strategies the participants can use with to decrease their own stress. The participants will also be given strategies to use outside of the training sessions. It is hypothesized that training on self-utilization of ACT procedures will increase psychological flexibility while decreasing burnout as measured by postvention scores on both the AAQ-II as well as the MBI-ES.
79. Evaluating the Effects of a Randomized Dependent Group Contingency on Employee Completion of Assigned Job Duties in an Autism Clinic
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY DIANA MONDATI (Caldwell University ), Meghan Deshais (Caldwell University)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Group contingencies are efficient in terms of time and resources and may promote accountability and teamwork among group members. The majority of previous research on the effects of group contingencies has been conducted in school settings although several studies have indicated that group contingencies may be effective at promoting employee behavior change in the workplace (Berkovits, Sturmey, & Alvero, 2012; Brown & Redmon, 1990; Camden, Price, & Ludwig, 2011). To our knowledge, the effects of a randomized dependent group contingency on employee behavior in the workplace are currently unknown. In a randomized dependent group contingency, the target individual whose performance dictates if the group receives reinforcement, is unknown. We used a reversal design to evaluate the effects of a randomized dependent group contingency on employee completion of assigned job duties at an university-based autism clinic. Results indicated increases in job-duty completion during the randomized dependent group contingency condition relative to baseline.
80. Effects of a Video Self-Monitoring Procedure to Increase Treatment Integrity of Paraprofessionals' Implementation of Discrete Trial Training
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
AILBHE NUDI-MULDOON (University of New Mexico; Temple University), Matthew Tincani (Temple University)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Behavior skills training is a didactic training format used to increase skill in an effective and efficient way. Video self-monitoring refers to the process of recording oneself for the purpose of self-review in order to observe and change one's behavior. The purpose of the following study was to determine if an intervention package that included Behavioral Skills Training (BST) and Video Self-Monitoring (VSM) would increase, generalize and, maintain high levels of treatment integrity of paraprofessional staff members while teaching a discrete trial training program to a student with autism. Additionally, student behavior was observed to determine if increased staff effectiveness would affect learner responding. The study found that the intervention package was effective in changing staff behavior by improving their treatment integrity. An observed change in student behavior emerged towards the end of the study when treatment integrity was high across staff members. Staff behavior generalized when the DTT program was implemented with a novel student. Additionally, maintenance of treatment integrity remained high after the intervention was withdrawn. Overall, these findings suggest that BST, followed by VSM, is an effective intervention for changing staff behavior.
81. Analysis and Treatment of Staff Adherence to Data Collection Procedures
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
EMILY HASBROUCK ROTOLA (The Faison Center), Kimberley Benes (The Faison Center), Jody Liesfeld (The Faison Center), Shantel Pugliese (The Faison Center)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Organizations providing behavior analytic services often serve individuals who engage in challenging behavior and thereby rely on employees to accurately record data. In the absence of complete or accurate data, clinicians risk making misinformed treatment decisions. This study was conducted in two classrooms at a private day school serving students with autism and related disorders. The school employed direct care staff who were responsible for recording data on the occurrence and nonoccurrence of challenging behavior utilizing paper and pencil data collection systems. These systems were designed so that data could be recorded across specified intervals. If challenging behavior did not occur during a specified interval, staff were required to record a zero. Baseline data collected in classrooms 1 and 2 indicated that direct care staff recorded data an average of 71% and 27% of intervals, respectively. The Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services was administered, and the results indicated that a lack of prompts and feedback were the contributing barriers in both classrooms. A multi-component intervention was implemented in a multiple baseline design across settings. Results of the intervention increased the percentage of intervals recorded daily. Additionally, a component analysis was conducted to identify the most effective element of the intervention.
82. An Evaluation of the Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services to Inform Intervention Selection for Improving Classroom Staff Performance
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JESSICA M. COHENOUR (The May Institute, Randolph School ), Yannick Andrew Schenk (May Institute)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Client outcomes associated with the provision of educational and residential services often require a thorough understanding of the key performance behaviors that contribute to the quality and consistency of the services provided as well as barriers to quality service provision. The Performance Diagnostic Checklist-Human Services (PDC-HS) is a diagnostic tool comprised of questions designed to assess existing supports that promote staff performance, assist managers in identifying staff performance issues, and allow for the selection of appropriate interventions to address identified performance deficits. The PDC-HS assesses four specific areas that may contribute to performance issues – antecedents, behaviors, resources, and/or consequences. The tool yields focused (i.e., function-based) intervention recommendations that may help address identified performance deficits in a structured and systematic way. The current project aims to enhance existing program evaluation methods by using the PDC-HS to implement recommended interventions to increase performance in two domains (i.e., pairing and teaching procedures) on a class-wide level. Participants include classroom teachers, clinicians, and direct care staff serving students in an educational and residential setting. Following the administration of the PDC-HS with two direct care staff randomly selected from participating classrooms, all four areas were identified as areas for intervention within both domains, with an emphasis on antecedents, resources, and consequence.
83. The Affects of Public Posting on Staff Delivery of Client Learn Units
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
MAGDA A. GUCWA (The Faison Center, Inc.), Rachel L Ernest (The Faison Center)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 3 different conditions on rate of learn units delivered by staff/received by clients and rate of masteries achieved. Participants in this study included 14 children between the ages of 2 and 6, with diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder, and 19 technicians in a clinic-based Early Education Center. Baseline data was collected on the rate of learn units that each client received and rate of masteries achieved. In the first condition, public postings were implemented for all clients and staff. Preliminary data showed an increase in the rate of learn units delivered across the first month that public postings alone were implemented. This data also indicated no change in the overall rate of masteries achieved. In the second condition, learn unit goals will be established for each client and each staff, and the effects of this condition will be assessed. In the third condition, incentives will put in place for staff to meet learn unit goals, and the effects of this condition will be assessed.
84. Assessing the Effect of Visual Feedback on Staff Training
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ABHYUDAY SHANKAR AWASTHI (Cerverus Digital Solutions), Papiya Mukherjee (Behavior Momentum India), Shushma V (Behavior Momentum India), Smita Awasthi (Behavior Momentum India)
Discussant: Natalie A. Parks (Pulse Business Strategies LLC)
Abstract: Staff training using Behavioral Skills Training in remote areas devoid of behavior analytic services are essential for the delivery of effective evidence based interventions for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. Active didactic training methods including role modeling, video modeling (Moore et al., 2007) have been supported by evidence. Training package consisting of instruction, feedback, rehearsal and modeling produced rapid improvements in implementation of DTT (Sarokoff & Sturmey, 2013). The current study included presenting visual feedback to five para-professional trainers working with children with autism. The target behavior included increasing intensity of teaching trials in three trainers and treatment integrity in the other two. Visual presentations were made, with large data points represented on line graphs. Results suggest at least a 300% increase in teaching trial intensity in all three trainers within 5 sessions and an 80% improvement in treatment integrity in the remaining two trainers in 5 sessions. While reactivity effect may be a confound, the effect of visual feedback seems an effective strategy for staff training.



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